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W&L’s Myers Selected for History Seminar on “The Civil War and American Memory”

“Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance to maintaining informed citizen participation in a democracy.”

Washington and Lee University is pleased to announce that Barton Myers, associate professor of history, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to participate in a special American history seminar on “The Civil War and American Memory.” The seminar for faculty members in history, political science, and related fields is especially important for those who may be called upon as resources and experts when questions arise over what should be done with controversial historical statues and markers on their campuses and in their communities. From a pool of 58 highly competitive nominations, 25 faculty members were selected to participate in the seminar, which will be held June 10–14, 2018, at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Barton Myers

In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance to maintaining informed citizen participation in a democracy. The Civil War has been used—and misused—to bolster contemporary arguments about conflict resolution, race, and the role of America in the world. The seminar will provide participating faculty members with unusual insight into the selective public memory through the years about American’s defining event, the Civil War. Participants in the seminar will be better prepared to teach a new generation of students how to understand major social and political issues of today in light of history, the different perspectives in different eras, and recent debates over Civil War monuments and symbols. We believe that Barton Myers will play a strong role in the seminar.”

The seminar will be led by David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. Blight is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which received numerous awards including the Bancroft Prize, the Frederick Douglass Prize, and the Merle Curti Prize; American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, which received the Anisfield-Wolf Award for best nonfiction book on racism and human diversity; and A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including  Their Narratives of Emancipation. His other books include Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the

American Civil War; Frederick Douglass’ Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee; and the edited volumes, When This Cruel War Is Over: The Civil War Letters of Charles Harvey Brewster; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; and The Souls of Black Folk, by W.E.B. DuBois. Blight was elected a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002. Since 2004, he has served as a member of the board of trustees of the New-York Historical Society. He also has served on the board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Blight was on the board of advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and was involved in planning numerous events to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. He has led or co-led many seminars for CIC faculty members on slave narratives and the scholarship and public history of slavery.

Seminar participants will assess the historical memory of the most divisive event in American history—the Civil War.  Participants will consider works on Civil War memory, discuss theoretical texts on the nature and significance of collective memory across time and cultures, and dive deeply into three anniversary moments in this history of the memories: the 50th (1911–1915); the 100th (1961–1965); and the 150th (2011–2015). The seminar also will consider the recent and current crises and debates over Civil War monuments and symbols from the 2015 massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, to the recent protests and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and beyond. Above all, the seminar aims to provide a forum in which to comprehend and analyze why the slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction epoch has remained an unending dilemma in American historical consciousness.

The seminar is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For more information, visit the CIC website at www.cic.edu/AmericanHistory.

Participants in the 2018 CIC-Gilder Lehrman Seminar:

  • Terrie Aamodt, Professor of History and Philosophy, Walla Walla University (WA)
  • Kristin Anderson-Bricker, Professor of History, Loras College (IA)
  • Kyle Anthony, Assistant Professor of History, University of Saint Mary (KS)
  • Matt Barbee, Associate Professor of English, Siena Heights University (MI)
  • Gerald Butters, Professor of History, Aurora University (IL)
  • Mary Cain, Associate Professor of History, Agnes Scott College (GA)
  • Jennifer Cote, Associate Professor of History and Society, University of Saint Joseph (CT)
  • Kenya Davis-Hayes, Associate Professor of History, California Baptist University
  • Ian Delahanty, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, Springfield College            (MA)
  • John d’Entremont, Professor of History, Randolph College (VA)
  • Brandon Downing, Assistant Professor of History, Marietta College (OH)
  • Dan Fountain, Associate Professor of History, Meredith College (NC)
  • Theodore Francis, Assistant Professor of History, Huston-Tillotson University (TX)
  • Kelly Franklin, Assistant Professor of English, Hillsdale College (MI)
  • Darin Lenz, Associate Professor of History, Fresno Pacific University (CA)
  • Kya Mangrum, Assistant Professor of English, Westmont College (CA)
  • Benjamin Montoya, Assistant Professor of History, Schreiner University (TX)
  • Barton Myers, Associate Professor of History, Washington and Lee University (VA)
  • Jeffrey O’Leary, Assistant Professor of History, Mitchell College (CT)
  • Marcy Sacks, Professor of History, Albion College       (MI)
  • Evie Terrono, Professor Art History, Randolph-Macon College (VA)
  • David Thomson, Assistant Professor of History, Sacred Heart University (CT)
  • Belinda Wheeler, Associate Professor of English, Claflin University (SC)
  • Corinne Wohlford, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor of American History and Culture, Fontbonne University (MO)
  • Karen Younger, Assistant Professor of History, Waynesburg University (PA)